Newsletter Purim – Shushan Purim – Parashat Tetzave



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Congratulations to everyone who studied Megillat Esther in our joint learning:

 R’ Mord Maman, R’ Namir, Daniel Tichbi, R’ Shmuel Livshin, Rafi Marshall, R’ Stamler, Antony Hodari, R’ Aharon Gillis, Dr Yehuda Marshall, R’ David Shasha, Ben Hassan, R’ Moshe Wieder, Yaakov Dozetas, Eric Sievers, R’ David Schlama, Fabian Borocin.                    

Chazak ve’ematz!

Attached to this email are some Divre Torah on the megilla, inspired by our learning.

Rabbi Oppenheimer
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Dvar Torah

Davs Marshall

Shmulli Borocin
Michael Bitton
Gabi Weinberg
Shlomo Lewis
Ruining and Regaining Opportunity 
HaGaon Rabbi Yaakov Hillel – Straight from the Heart
Sefardic World
Researching Jewish communities around the Mediterranean is challenging. Many archives have been destroyed, lost or confiscated. However, the records of the Alliance Israélite Universelle sit safely in Paris.

The Alliance Israélite Universelle was founded in 1860 by a group of French Jews, the majority of them being Ashkenazim from Alsace. However, the school network of the AIU had a decisive effect on Judeo-Spanish populations in Turkey,  Greece, the Balkans and North Africa. The library and archives are full of important documents for the history of the Sephardim: manuscripts, early prints, periodicals, and many references to Sephardic individuals who acted as teachers of the AIU. Discover the richness of these collections, and learn how to access it through the digital library.

Jean-Claude Kuperminc is the Director of the Library and Archives of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. He is one of the creators of the Rachel Network of Jewish Libraries. In more than 30 years, he has led the transformation of the library into the digital world.

Many thanks to our regular and new patrons. We couldn't do this without you. The popularity of Sephardic World means that we are now often over-subscribed and may soon need to restrict Zoom meetings to patrons. Please consider joining our patrons in making a small monthly donation to help keep the show on the road! 

The meeting is today, Sunday 28 February 2021 at 11am LA, 2pm NYC, 7pm London, 8pm Amsterdam and 9pm Jerusalem. Join us on Zoom at:

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Best wishes,

Ton and David

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לוח זמני תפלה לחורף תשפ״א

מוצאי שבת



מנחה שבת

סוף זמן קריאת שמע

הדלקת נרות

מנחה וקבלת שבת


שבת פרשת






Shema before

Candle Lighting

Minha & Kabbalat Shabbat



















26/27 Feb


Q & A on Parashat Tetazve

  1. What two precautions were taken to assure the purity of the oil for the menorah?
    27:20 – The olives were pressed and not ground; and only the first drop was used.
  2. How was Aharon commanded to kindle the menorah?
    27:20 – He was commanded to kindle it until the flame ascended by itself.
  3. What does tamid mean in reference to the menorah?
    27:20 – It means that it should be kindled every night.
  4. What does kehuna mean?
    28:3 – Service.
  5. Name the eight garments worn by the Kohen Gadol.
    28:4,36,42 – Choshen, ephod, me'il, ketonet, mitznefet, avnet, tzitz, and michnasayim.
  6. To what does Rashi compare the ephod?
    28:6 – A woman's riding garment.
  7. In which order were the names of the Tribes inscribed on the ephod?
    28:10 – In order of birth.
  8. The stones of the ephod bore the inscription of the names of the sons of Yaakov. Why?
    28:12 – So that G-d would see their names and recall their righteousness.
  9. For what sins did the choshen mishpat atone?
    28:15 – For judicial errors.
  10. What are three meanings of the word mishpat?
    1. 28:15 –
    (a) The claims of the litigants
    (b) The court's ruling
    (c) The court's punishment.
  11. What was lacking in the bigdei kehuna in the second Beit Hamikdash?
    28:30 – The Urim V'Tumim — the “Shem Ha'meforash” placed in the folds of the choshen.
  12. Which garment's fabric was woven of only one material?
    28:31 – The fabric of the me'il was made only of techelet.
  13. When the Kohen Gadol wore all his priestly garments, where on his head was the tefillin situated?
    28:37 – Between the tzitz and the mitznefet.
  14. What does the word tamid mean in reference to the tzitz? (two answers)
    28:38 –
    (a) It always atones, even when not being worn.
    (b) The Kohen Gadol must always be aware that he is wearing it.
  15. Which garments were worn by a kohen hediot?
    28:40,42 – Ketonet, avnet, migba'at and michnasayim.
  16. During the inauguration of the kohanim, a bullock was brought as a sin offering. For what sin did this offering atone?
    29:1 – The sin of the golden calf.
  17. Moshe was commanded to wash Aharon and his sons to prepare them to serve as kohanim (29:4). How were they washed?
    29:4 – They immersed in a mikveh.
  18. What was unique about the bull sin-offering brought during the inauguration of the kohanim?
    29:14 – It is the only external sin-offering that was completely burned.
  19. How did the oil used for the meal-offering differ from the oil used for the menorah?
    29:40 – Oil for the menorah comes only from beaten olives. Oil for meal-offerings may come from either beaten olives or from ground-up olives.
  20. What does the crown on the mizbeach haketoret symbolize?
    30:3 – The crown of kehuna.


Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l

מתנות לאביונים


באופן כללי את חיוב מצות “מתנות לאביונים” ביום פורים. כלומר, לתת שתי
מתנות לשני אביונים

צריך לתת
מתנות לאביונים, אינה דוקא במתנות ממש, אלא רשאי לתת לאביונים מעות (כסף) כדי
שיוכלו לקנות ממנו צרכי סעודת פורים

צריך לתת
שמים יתן מתנות לאביונים בעין יפה ובסבר פנים יפות, והנה שכרו ופעולתו לפניו. וכמה
הוא חיוב מתנות לאביונים?, הנה מעיקר הדין אין קצבה במעות פורים, כי מן הדין די
בנתינת פרוטה, שהוא סכום הקטן שיש בכל מקום (וכגון בארץ ישראל מטבע של חצי שקל
וכדומה), ומכל מקום כאמור, עדיף להרבות במתנות לאביונים, מלהרבות בסעודת פורים
ובמשלוח מנות. ועל כל פנים נכון שלא יפחות מסכום שיוכל האביון לעשות ממנו סעודת פורים

בין משלוח מנות למתנות לאביונים

הקודמת ביארנו, שיש לתת את המשלוח מנות, באופן שהמקבל ידע ממי קיבלת את המעות,
והנותן ידע למי נותן. וזאת משום שטעם המצוה של משלוח מנות, הוא בכדי להרבות אהבה
ואחוה בין בני אדם. אולם לענין מתנות לאביונים אין הדין כן
, אלא רשאי לתת את
המתנות באופן שהאביון לא ידע ממי קיבל, וכן הנותן לא ידע למי נותן

במשלוח מנות, יש לתת מנות ממש, כלומר, דברי מאכל ומשקה, מה שאין כן במתנות
לאביונים, שיכול לתת לאביונים מעות, שיוכל לקנות מהם את צרכי הסעודה

מתנות לאביונים

הרמב”ם (הלכות מגילה פרק ב), חייב אדם לשלוח לחברו שתי מנות בשר, או שני מיני
תבשיל, או שני מיני אוכלים (מאכלים), שנאמר: ומשלוח מנות איש לרעהו
מנות לאיש אחד, וכל המרבה לשלוח לרעים הרי זה משובח. וחייב לחלק לעניים מעות או
מיני אכלים ביום הפורים, לא פחות משני עניים, שנותן לכל אחד מתנה אחת, שנאמר:
ומתנות לאביונים. ומוטב לאדם להרבות במתנות לאביונים יותר מלהרבות בסעודתו ובמשלוח
מנות לחברים, שאין שמחה גדולה מפוארה יותר מלשמח לב עניים ויתומים ואלמנות וגרים,
שהמשמח לב האומללים הללו, הרי הוא דומה לשכינה, שנאמר: “להחיות רוח שפלים
ולהחיות נפש נדכאים

לגבאי צדקה

מעות לגבאי צדקה, שהוא מחלקם לעניים בו ביום, יוצא ידי חובת מתנות לאביונים,
ששלוחו של אדם כמותו. וכן נוהגים רבים כיום, שהם נותנים לגבאי נאמן את כספי המתנות
לאביונים, והוא שלוחם לתת את כספי המתנות לעניים ביום הפורים. ועדיף לנהוג כן ממה
שיתן בעצמו את המעות, לאביונים כאלה אשר אינו יכול לדעת בודאות אם הם ראויים
למתנות אלו

הזהרנו בעבר על הצורך לשים לב שגבאי הצדקה הם אנשים יראי שמים, ולא לסמוך בעיניים
עצומות על ועדי הצדקה למיניהם

Matanot La’Evyonim

we briefly discussed the Mitzvah of “Matanot La’Evyonim”
on Purim day which is the distribution of two monetary gifts, one to each pauper.

The Rambam (Chapter 2 of Hilchot Megilla) writes: “One must send his friend two
portions of meat or two cooked foods or two food items, as the verse states,
‘And sending portions to one another,’ which means two potions to one person.
The more friends one sends to, the more praiseworthy he is. One must also
distribute monetary gifts or food items to the poor on Purim day, no less than
one gift to two poor people, as the verse states, ‘And gifts to the poor’. It
is more important for one to distribute more gifts to the poor than to spend a
lot on one’s feast or send gifts to many friends, for there is no greater and
more splendid happiness than to gladden the hearts of the poor, orphans,
widows, and converts; one who gladdens these downtrodden souls is comparable to
the holy presence of Hashem Himself, as the verse states, ‘To revive the spirit
of the downtrodden and to revive the soul of the oppressed.’”

One who fears Heaven should distribute Matanot La’Evyonim generously and with
good cheer and his reward will be great indeed. How much must a person give as
Matanot La’Evyonim? Although the letter of the law dictates that there is no
set amount for this gift and one fulfills his obligation by giving even a few
cents per pauper, nevertheless, it is preferable to spend more on Matanot
La’Evyonim then on the Purim feast or Mishloach Manot. (One should preferably
give enough so that the pauper will be able to make use of the sum for the
Purim feast.)

One who gives money to a charity treasurer who will subsequently distribute
this sum to the needy on Purim day on the donor’s behalf has fulfilled his
obligation, since “one’s messenger is like himself.” This is the prevalent
custom today as many people give their Matanot La’Evyonim to trustworthy treasurers
and they in turn distribute the money on the donors’ behalf on Purim day. It is
actually proper to fulfill the Mitzvah in this way rather than to give the
money to such people whom one cannot ascertain whether or not they are
genuinely needy.

However, we must warn our readers that when one gives these monetary gifts to
charity treasurers, one should take extreme caution to give only to treasurers
who are trustworthy and G-d-fearing, for we have heard of situations where
there have been individuals who have stolen the majority of the proceeds for
themselves and taken advantage of the plight of the truly downtrodden in order
amass wealth for themselves. Hagaon Ya’abetz writes in his Sefer Megillat Sefer
(about three hundred years ago) that most of the charity collected for the poor
of Jerusalem had been stolen by the charity treasurers who would pass the funds
from hand to hand and became rich in this way while not leaving even a fraction
of the proceeds for the poor people of Jerusalem, which eventually lead to the
collapse of the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem. Similarly, we are clearly
aware of several organizations that collect money on behalf of widows and
orphans and keep all the proceeds for themselves, leaving only a tiny sum over
for the intended recipients. These greedy individuals who steal from the mouths
of the poor present themselves as righteous and upstanding individuals; as
such, one must be keen in order to avoid them. Anyone who cherishes his soul
should distance himself from such people in addition to warning others about
them, for donating to such individuals does not constitute Tzedakah at all. One
should give his Matanot La’Evyonim and all other Tzedakah for that matter only
to treasurers who are completely trustworthy and G-d-fearing or to Torah
scholars who are in charge of passing the charity on to G-d-fearing individuals

We recommend giving donations to one’s local, G-d-fearing rabbi who will then
distribute the proceeds to the poor